One of our good friends decided she wanted to have a “clown party” for her birthday. We’re all about theme/costume parties here in New Orleans, so it wasn’t a surprise to have one, but I was honestly NOT thrilled about the clown thing. I’m not afraid of them, but they don’t hold any particular delight for me, and I had already mapped out my next several costume projects, so adding another one that I wasn’t excited about was a bummer. UNTIL Seann made a suggestion for how to make it work for us, with the result being costumes we could wear more often, something more in our wheelhouse: The Jokey & Harley Quinn. SOLD! But which versions…? There are SO many iterations of these two that I didn’t know where to start. I was not (am never) thrilled with the idea of a full-body tight-fitting suit, I just don’t have a great body shape to pull it off and it makes me uncomfortable. Which meant the “original” Harley in the jester bodysuit was a no-go, as were both the “Injustice” Harley and the “Arkham City” Harley (the only two I was really familiar with at all). After looking around at a few, I decided the one I liked best was the “Arkham Knight” Harley. Still very much HER, but the skirt makes for a more comfortable costume option for me, and I’m comfortable with the corseted top with sleeves as well. Seann decided on The (Mark Hamill-voiced) Joker from the animate series as his inspiration – see this companion post for information on his costume.
Part 1: The Character
Part 2: Sources of Info & Inspiration
I honestly just mostly used images I found of Harley (including fan-drawn items and images of the doll), screen shots of the game (taken from this walkthrough video Seann found for me). I also checked out a handful of existing cosplays for ideas on how to transform the animated character into real life. The best ones I saw were:
My best friend and her husband started their own Mardi Gras krewe several years ago, the Krewe de Fu. It’s a martial arts and warrior-themed krewe that rolls on foot on Mardi Gras Day (Fat Tuesday) each year. Their first year was 2009, I joined them in 2010 after I moved to New Orleans, and I recruited Seann after we got together, with his first year being 2013. The Krewe de Fu pulls inspiration from real life martial arts (most members have studied at least one martial art, including Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, Tang Soo Do, Ishin Ryu Karate, Akido, or something else), as well as from pop culture, including Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Chuck Norris, and even video games, such as Street Fighter. So this year I wanted to pay homage to my favorite childhood video game fighter (me and every other girl of my generation), Chun Li. Seann was up for the idea, and decided to go as Guile, while other krewe member friends chimed in as Cammy, M. Bison, and “evil” Chun Li (the red one).
Part 1: The Character